The armed forces must be prepared for the long haul at Doklam given that China is unlikely to end the stand-off on India’s terms, observed experts who have been analysing Beijing's foreign policy and military strategies.
BENGALURU: The armed forces must be prepared for the long haul at Doklam given that China is unlikely to end the stand-off on India's terms, observed experts who have been analysing Beijing's foreign policy and military strategies.
N Parthasarthi, former Consul General (of India) in San Francisco, said: "If you look at the language Beijing is using and analyse the way China has operated in the region in the past 10-20 years, it becomes clear what its stand could be. Even in 1986-87, when China entered Arunachal Pradesh, our armed forces flew in troops to confront it. It took us a good seven years before the troops were withdrawn."
He said that China knows its economic strength and uses military to win over disputed lands and ensure dominance. On the other hand, India, which is also a growing economic power, employs a strategy dictated by the principles of democracy that involves diplomatic ties and negotiations.
"Even a limited skirmish will be disastrous for both the countries as it will be difficult to control. The conflict may not remain restricted to Doklam, but could spread to Jammu and Kashmir and other areas as well. The fact that this time around it won't just be a land war must be considered," Parthasarathi said.
Although China is well aware of this and is smart enough to not start anything, it has cornered itself with its over-aggressive stance on the issue, he says.
Also read: ‘There is more to the Doklam stand-off’
"First China moves into a disputed area claimed by Bhutan and when India steps in to stand by its ally, China falsely accuses it of moving into its territory. There have been 24 meetings between China and Bhutan over the territory," he pointed out.
When India did not succumb, Beijing claimed that it had informed the Indian government about its plans to construct a road in the territory and that the latter did not raise any objections.
"Now, if it was Chinese territory, why would China write to India? It was a lie," Parthasarathi said, adding that strategically India cannot afford to let the Chinese occupy the area as it is dangerously close to the Siliguri Corridor.
Siliguri Corridor, or the 'Chicken's Neck' is the only way the Indian mainland can connect with the northeast. "China's plan is to eventually move down from Doklam into the Chicken's Neck, cut off India from the northeast and encourage groups to seek independence," he asserted.